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Thursday, February 17th, 2005
Immanuel Kant famously remarked, "from the crooked timber of humanity no truly straight thing can be made." But, in the words of philosopher, Denis Dutton,
It is not . . . that no beautiful carving or piece of furniture can be produced from twisted wood; it is rather that whatever is finally created will only endure if it takes into account the grain, texture, natural joints, knotholes, strengths and weaknesses of the original material.Evolutionary psychology, by helping us better understand human nature, can aid us in cultivating social orders that do not foolishly attempt to cut against the grain of human nature. We can learn how best to work with the material of humanity to encourage and preserve societies, like own, that are not only beautiful, but will endure.
From Capitalism and Human Nature
. The worst crimes in history came from following through on nice-sounding ideas that didn't work with real people. Hopefully developing an understanding about how people respond in real life will help us do better in the future. Current Mood: thoughtful